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Hogan to hold cabinet meeting in Westminster; tour Carroll

Hogan to hold cabinet meeting in Westminster; tour Carroll
Dr. Frederick Smith and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan applaud graduates during Gerstell Academy's Commencement Exercises in Finksburg Friday, June 10, 2016. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Gov. Larry Hogan will be hosting a regional cabinet meeting in Westminster next week, before touring Carroll County to meet with public officials, business owners and constituents.

"I look forward to visiting beautiful Carroll County, connecting with citizens, and giving them a first-hand look at how we are working to change Maryland for the better," Hogan said in a prepared statement. "Regional cabinet meetings give our administration an opportunity to bring state government directly to the people and to publicly demonstrate how government is working for them."

Carroll Community College will host the cabinet meeting, which is open to the public, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 11, in the Scott Center theater in the college's T building. The college is located at 1601 Washington Road in Westminster. Doors open at 9:15 a.m.

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Hogan is slated to welcome attendees before turning things over to Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and his cabinet of department secretaries, who will make a series of presentations to the audience, according to a news release from the college. Hogan will present citations to leaders and individuals, recognizing them for contributions to the community.

Members of the Carroll County Delegation to Annapolis, including state Sen. Justin Ready, Del. Susan Krebs, Del. April Rose and Del. Haven Shoemaker, all Republicans representing District 5, will also attend the cabinet meeting.

"The governor has demonstrated his affection for Carroll County in enumerable ways since he took office. The feeling is mutual," Shoemaker said. "I am confident that the governor will be able to have a first-hand look at all the things that make Carroll County such a great place to live."

The Francis Scott Key Choral Ensemble will sing the national anthem, and the meeting will include a presentation by the color guard and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by college student Hannah Sparks, of Sykesville.

Ready said the full state cabinet meeting is a great opportunity to see how the administration is working together to bring jobs and opportunities to Carroll.

"Gov. Hogan's commitment to equity in funding for Carroll schools and our community college as well as his focus on helping us fight the heroin epidemic are also things that we look forward to highlighting," Ready added.

The regional cabinet meeting is part of a promise the Hogan administration made in 2014 to connect local communities and residents with state government. Last fall, Hogan conducted a similar meeting in Hagerstown.

Carroll Community College President James D. Ball said the college's staff, students and board of trustees were pleased to have the governor and his cabinet coming to Westminster.

"The state and its leadership are enduring partners in the pursuit of higher education for all Maryland citizens," Ball said in prepared statement. "The governor's commitment to accessible and affordable, state-of-the-art higher education will help Carroll County students to become productive contributors to the economy of the state and the region."

Earlier this year, the college's board of trustees voted to reduce a planned tuition increase from $6 to $2 per credit hour to be in line with Hogan's vision for accessible, affordable college tuition. Carroll received an additional $107,804 from the state to offset that.

While more funding for the community college was stripped out of the Hogan's supplemental budget, he did sign a bill that provided more money to seven small community colleges, including Carroll.

Hogan also signed legislation that provided approximately $1.6 million for the Carroll County Public Safety Training Center, used by law enforcement and first responders. Hogan will visit the training center Thursday afternoon, after the cabinet meeting and an invitation-only luncheon at the college.

"We have a full day planned for the governor and his cabinet secretaries after their cabinet meeting — they will be making site visits throughout the county," Krebs said.

Agency secretaries and directors will be attending various events and activities in the area immediately following the cabinet meeting, although those schedules have not yet been announced, according to Shareese Churchill, the administration's press secretary.

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The governor is also scheduled to visit with students at Hampstead Elementary School and tour LandSeaAir, an aerospace, defense and intelligence products manufacturer located on Md. 140 in Westminster, before visiting The Arc of Carroll County's recently renovated facility off Md. 97.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to display the wonderful education programs we have for our students," Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Guthrie said of Hogan's visit. "We are honored that he is taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with our students."

The Arc Executive Director Don Rowe said staff will give Hogan a tour of the facility, which underwent a $3 million facelift last year, and have a discussion with the governor about employing people with disabilities.

"I'm delighted that Gov. Hogan is including The Arc on his visit to Carroll County," Rowe said. "We want to show him how his initiatives are making a difference in the lives of Carroll County citizens with disabilities."

Krebs said she encouraged constituents to attend the cabinet meeting and also encouraged residents to host a reception for the governor hosted by the Carroll County Delegation for District 5 later that evening. The fundraising event is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Inn at Roop's Mill in Westminster. Tickets range from $125 to $1,000. More information can be found at www.larryhogan.com/jr17.

wayne.carter@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7878



Twitter.com/CCTNews

Public schedule for Hogan's visit

•10 a.m. — Regional cabinet meeting, Carroll Community College, Scott Theater, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster (doors open at 9:15 a.m.)

•1:15 p.m. — Carroll County Public Safety Training Center, 50 Kate Wagner Road, Westminster

•2:15 p.m. — Hampstead Elementary School, 3737 Shiloh Road, Hampstead

•3:15 p.m. — LandSeaAir, 861 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster

•4:15 p.m. — The Arc Carroll County, 180 Kriders Church Road, Westminster

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